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Episode 185

You Made It Weird

David Wolfe

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You Made It Weird #185: David Wolfe

David Wolfe (Food Matters! Author! Raw foodie hippie man!) makes it wonderful and VERY weird!

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93 comments

  • I can’t with this guy. I’ve dedicated YEARS of my life to science and medicine. I’m all for people eating what makes them feel good and believing what they want to believe, but I take huge issue when people with no medical or scientific background try to sell miracle cures for diseases with very serious consequences without medical intervention.

    Just because you’re “a citizen of the world” doesn’t mean you know anything about treating illness.

  • I love you Pete! However, that guest should go to prison for putting people on a death sentence under the false pretense of natural cures for cancer. If he were telling the truth, he’d have a nobel prize, yet he’s an infomercial guy.

  • Pete,

    Over the course of listening to all these many podcasts I’ve started to understand you better, and I’m also better able to rein in some of my urges to correct you on the pseudoscience stuff. I can understand why you find it interesting. In fact, it *is* interesting, it’s the stuff science fiction is made of! If you want to do EFT tapping, drink homeopathic mixtures, or even practice Reiki, then the more power to you. You’re a seeker, and I know that even if you later figure out that it was a hoax or a scam you’ll be happy that you at least tried something new. You’re a rare breed of person, an open-minded sweetheart, and not in the dumb golden retriever type of way (though you certainly like perpetuating that image). Your seeking is an expression of curiosity, and even if it puts you in ignorant and deluded company (or worse, I fear, in the case of David Wolfe), you are not those things.

    What a lot of people, I think, take issue with is the way being scientific is cast in the light of rigid close-mindedness to the wider world that is still not entirely understood. Religion, superstition, and pseudoscience lead to this rigidity, but not science. Science, if applied according to its principles, is all about questioning. It’s never about confirming a hypothesis, it’s about finding new ideas that can be falsifiable. Only religious thinking leads to assumptions that must be taken on faith and can never be disproven.

    A few people here have echoed the view that the defenders of science and the detractors of charlatans are the rigid ones, but all I got out of David Wolfe was that he “knows for a fact” that gold is often misidentified as aluminum, that gold-panning only exists because of mysterious riverbed transubstantiation (and not because it’s really effing hard to go set up a pit mine on the top of a mountain) and that tap water is deadly. Does he know that gold and aluminum form an intermetallic compound as part of a fairly easy to understand process of melting? Does he understand geologic watershed erosion? Does he prefer to drink pure, non-chlorinated Giardia/deer-piss water and suffer river-blindness like so many people around the world without access to the evil Western technocracy? It sounds to me like he’s already got all the answers that he needs to support his views. He’s an intellectual dead-end.

    This episode reminded me a lot of the Rob Bell episode, but not for the reasons I expected. I bristled plenty at the condescending way that Rob Bell wondered at how atheists could be so full of faith as to discount the existence of the manifestation of a collective hysteria born from a fear of death. Yet Rob Bell doesn’t seem afraid of death, and certainly is no moralist crusader who tries to tell people how to live under his favorite rules. He’s a guy who, for some reason, sees the undeniable amount of good in the world and must reach for a supernatural explanation. Like my old Yoga teacher (a Sikh), he’s someone that wants to spread goodness, whose heart (and, to some extent, mind) is open, and whose methods I occasionally see as dangerous, in the wrong hands. The principles of Rob Bell’s faith can be misused for religious purposes just as easily as science can be misused towards technocratic ends, but I can’t fault him for that. He’s a good man.

    He’s the opposite of David Wolfe.

    Wolfe does more than half the job of convincing one that he is a con-artist and huckster just by the way he talks and thinks, and so, for that, I thank him. As has been previously mentioned, however, it’s a short walk (if any) from there to the activism that convinces people to stop vaccinating their children or, as was recently the case in my town, blocks well-researched initiatives to improve public health through water fluoridation. Stopping water fluoridation is trivial, though, in comparison to the threat that the anti-vaccination crowd poses. It’s not just that their children may get sick, but that they will also become vectors for disease for children that had no say in the matter. And their evidence? Scant, ill-reasoned, or non-existent. But god help you if you oppose them with your fancy “science.” Never mind that they’ll pervert and misuse the same systems to try and further their own cause. Everybody gets their own set of facts, as well as opinions and butt-holes.

    Anyway, I just wanted to write and say that I hope you never change. I hope you don’t stop seeking. I hope that you eventually have someone even more ridiculous than David Wolfe on the show. Most of all I hope that you question as much as you seek (and I think I’m beginning to see that you do). I have no fear for you, Petey-Pants, you lovable little bastard. Keep up the good work.

    your pal,

    -Patrick

  • After watching the video, it all makes a little more sense why he was so obsessed with proving his celeb credibility. yuck. con-man. sorry pete. i love your show and i love that you’re bringing new ideas to the table. keep at it, but let’s hear someone on the other side of the coin. bill nye was a great suggestion. or how about Dr. Oz? or Oprah??! I’ll text her right now.

  • I’m afraid I had to turn it off when he started talking about the difference between ‘cenTRIPetal’ and ‘cenTRIFugal’ forces. Pete, I love you and you are my spirit animal. However, you correctly predicted that this would be a very hard episode for many people.

  • Questions I had: If Wolfe can produce gold from water, then why are his prices so high on his website? Does he really care about helping people with his raw gospel or just making a buck? If “They” erased the interview with the abductee, why didn’t they erase the info from his memory? What the heck is ormus and who decided it is a thing?

    Thanks Pete, i thoroughly enjoyed the episode. Even if Wolfe is a quack I was excited to hear you guys talk about weird stuff.

  • Questions I had: If Wolfe can produce gold from water, then why are his prices so high on his website? Does he really care about helping people with his raw gospel or just making a buck? If “They” erased the interview with the abductee, why didn’t they erase the info from his memory? What the frell is ormus and who decided it is a thing?

    Thanks Pete, i thoroughly enjoyed the episode. Even if Wolfe is a quack I was excited to hear you guys talk about weird stuff.

  • Questions I had: If Wolfe can produce gold from water, then why are his prices so high on his website? Does he really care about helping people with his raw gospel or just making a buck? If “They” erased the interview with the abductee, why didn’t they erase the info from his memory? What the fuck is ormus and who decided it is a thing?

    Thanks Pete, i thoroughly enjoyed the episode. Even if Wolfe is a quack I was excited to hear you guys talk about weird stuff.

  • Questions I had: If Wolfe can produce gold from water, then why are his prices so high on his website? Does he really care about helping people with his raw gospel or just making a buck? If “They” erased the interview with the abductee, why didn’t they erase the info from his memory? What the fuck is ormus and who decided it is a thing?
    Thanks Pete, i thoroughly enjoyed the episode. Even if Wolfe is a quack I was excited to hear you guys talk about weird stuff.

  • I’m glad I read these comments before I started going all in to Wolfe’s world.
    Questions I had: If Wolfe can produce gold from water, then why are his prices so high on his website? Does he really care about helping people with his raw gospel or just making a buck? If “They” erased the interview with the abductee, why didn’t they erase the info from his memory? What the fuck is ormus and who decided it is a thing?
    Thanks Pete, i thoroughly enjoyed the episode. Even if Wolfe is a quack I was excited to hear you guys talk about weird stuff.

  • I’d like to make an attempt to clarify why everyone is having such a visceral reaction to this guest in case Pete reads these comments and is taken aback by it.

    While everyone likes to be challenged and it’s why we come here in the first place, probably a lot of fans have spent their “10,000 hours” or more in pursuit of different careers and specialties with science at it’s core. When they hear someone who “has lots of hobbies” and “moves every 4 weeks” claim that our basic understanding of science is wrong and the periodic table is different than what we think, it’s personally offensive. I would equate it to Pete overhearing a business card carrying schmoozer who is a self-proclaimed stand-up and does the “wedding circuit” explain to Pete that his understanding of comedy is fundamentally wrong and he has figured it all out. If it was just an opinion it would be fine, but he is saying that most people are wrong in their area of expertise. And his thesis is that you can make minerals out of water by the sun making them “pop”.

    I think there are plenty of problems with our “Western” understanding of diet and medicine, but it’s more productive to take what we already know and correct and expand our understanding. There are a lot of legitimate vegan & paleo people who have studies and science to back-up their claims. It’s fun to hear someone say “I believe water is gold and red is blue” but to say “you’re all wrong, water is gold and red is blue” is annoying.

    Probably the best example is the bee story he told. Bee keepers have been trapping wild hives of bees for a very long time. Two weeks ago I attended a seminar and had a bee keeper show me a bee box where you slowly capture bees and can get them to relocate eventually bringing the queen and hive with them. It takes some patience and understanding of bees. David and his friend cut down a fucking branch and threw it in a box. I think this story illustrates the flaw in redefining the wheel at every step. Start by taking what we know and take the time to actually understand it and then maybe take a shot at improving it.

  • This guy reminds me of my old roommate. He would believe everything he reads or hears. In the end he just ended up wasting his money buying weird things from obvious scam artists on the internet.

    I couldn’t brush my teeth before work because he was putting this windup toy someone sold him to try and pacify his bath water.

    As someone who used to work as an environmental chemist in New Jersey; there are WAY worse things out there than tap water.

  • Yeah the going after his family wasn’t cool but I think the video does really help illuminate how insane he really is. I mean he implies that mushrooms come from space and chocolate can attune you to the sun. I fail to see the difference between this guy and someone ranting on a street corner, except he knows more big words.

  • I found this interview particularly interesting. As I am taking sciences in university I know there are flaws in his statements, but I can’t help but find it fascinating. I’d just like to view this as something to learn from, because from what I’ve been hearing in my classes, there are still many unanswered questions. In that, I feel that David is on the right track with some of his thought, whether it’s valid or not. If we dismiss all new ideas, then science won’t grow, as many times before people with radical ideas have be doubted. All I’m saying is, appreciate this conversation, because even the thought of the nonsense will expand your mind.

  • Loved the interview, most of the comments are from close minded individuals , who don’t seem to understand what theory is, and can’t accept the fact that times change as does science and information. Expand your capacity , learn to love. ( no I’m not vegan, nor do I believe all of it without doing my own research behind some of it ) don’t be scared.

  • @Timothy Bluhm

    Holy shit, that video! It’s good to know that he’s not just a con man, but a literally insane rich faux-hippie plagiarist con man. I know it’s not an act, but if it was it would be Andy Kaufman to shame.

    That said, it’s pretty lame to go after his family. Yeah they are also some pretty terrible people, but you can’t hold that against David.

  • I didn’t have a problem listening to this podcast and enjoy it, while also being okay with not needing to agree with everything that was being said. It’s a podcast, it’s meant to be entertaining. This is not school or church. Take what you like and leave the rest. Get over yourself.

  • It’s actually really important that people LIKE David Wolfe exist who don’t just accept what they’re told and they’re willing to investigate other types of living. However, this guy is either a fool or a scam artist, and either way listening to him isn’t going to get you anywhere you want to go.

  • I gotta agree most with Jordan’s comments up above. I love that Pete is having guests on that have different view points than what he’s used to on the show. And I love that Pete embraces them with open arms but I couldn’t help but roll my eyes several times while listening to this one. I respect the guy for following his calling but he’s way over confident in some of the claims he’s making and some of the connections he draws. And I felt Pete started to sense that too.

    That being said, nothing against eating healthy and taking care of our bodies and living holistically but some of the babble from this fella was tough to listen to. Still listened to the whole thing though (as always).

    Thanks Pete!

  • There’s a big difference between talking about weird things and indulging and encouraging nonscientific garbage. When Pete talked briefly about his internal conflict with encouraging others to eat raw and vegan despite only eating that way because he has people that make/buy food for him, this was very weird because of the taboo of mentioning class in the US. When David made up nonsense about the periodic table and said alchemy is real (spoiler alert: it’s not), that was not weird; it was just bullshit that makes him either a scam artist or a complete moron.

  • As Pete said, this is called “You Made It Weird.” The shit coming out of this guy’s mouth? It’s weird. It’s really fucking weird. Weirder than anything that has been on here in a long time. Any long time listeners know Pete likes to challenge himself with other viewpoints, and it isn’t like he just buys into this shit. I mean, he straight out says at one point in this interview, “That doesn’t sound true.”

    I hate the idea of people buying into this garbage, but the truth is, it is really not going to jive with most people’s common sense. Hell, if it makes someone go, “That… can’t be right, can it?” and then look it up, that’s pretty great.

  • His explanations of basic scientific principles were laughably poor, and could be debunked by first-year college students of the relevant disciplines. This makes him a fool. The fact that he didn’t reveal his interest in making people believe this nonsense lies in the profit motive makes him a real huckster piece of human garbage.

    Like any pseudoscientific moron, he clearly has 0 idea about any of the known laws that govern electromagnetism and so therefore anything can be made to seem scientific and complex by involving magnets. As a scientist, people like him make me sick to my stomach not because they are ignorant, but because they’re proud of their ignorance and they’re profiting by exploiting the ignorance of others. Fuck this guy and everything he said with regards to science in this episode.

    As for the ORMUS…holy fuck. rationalwiki.org/wiki/ORMUS explains most of the errors that he made. As for the 3-D periodic table and alchemy being real? Shut your ignorant mouth.

    Why can’t we get even a single episode with someone like Bill Nye, Neil Tyson, etc. who can actually explain the science behind any of these things? It’s all well and good that there are the (increasingly rare) atheist guests, but there has yet to be even a single person with basic scientific literacy.

  • This is the first YMIW that I listened to on a higher speed.

    Please, for the love of God, have someone on who can explain the counter positions to this guy’s pseudoscience. I don’t want Pete Holmes to join Jenny McCarthy in the celebrities with body counts because of his confirmation bias.

  • Hm — I’m always interested in hearing more about health, food, diet, nutrition and all that jazz — but I did get a little suspicious of this every time he tries to beef up his street cred: “they’ve been to my house” “i named that film” “they thanked me at the end of this film” “I knew steve jobs” it just went on and on and on and on.. like he needed to convince us he’s in the cool kids club. have some humility, brosef.

  • Wow. Pete, I truly appreciate that you have people like this on the podcast. Just hearing the same stuff that I already agree with can get stale. That said, this dude is straight nuts. Like, dude screaming at me on the streets of Oakland nuts. Nothing wrong with that as he doesn’t appear to be harming anyone and is just going about his life, but I literally laughed out loud at a lot of his claims and absurd misunderstandings of science.

    Fun listen!

  • Its crazy to see some of the responses here. I used to be a very angry science person until I discovered Duncan Trussell. I’m not saying that I believe all this stuff works but the ANGER and ASSUREDNESS that some of the comments has is sad. They sound almost religous. Just because you read something on the internet doesn’t make it true :) Maybe the stuff works maybe it doesn’t but it does make logical sense that being more closely aligned with the natural world would be healthier than that of the manufactured one.

  • I would only be able to talk to this guy for about 3 minutes before I would have to punch him, and I’m a tree-hugging vegetarian. Good job Pete in keeping the conversation fun, despite the guest.

  • We have seen con men like this throughout time. They earnestly begin with quests to improve but abruptly become tangled in wildly complicated and unproven methods to acount for their lack of understanding. If you drug your brain it will produce altered states. We have common experiences because we are humans with similar brain structures. We lie, misunderstand, exploit, and misinterpret the world around us as a species.
    People who have had only natural remedies and diets throughout time have had vastly shorter life expectancies. Why do we live longer now than ever…? Western medicine, improved agriculture, and better diets. We are not without fault and stand to improve a great deal.
    The world is more real than previously thought and there will always be those trying to drag us back to darker ages. Eat well, love life, surround yourself with good people, and have a goal. It really is much simpler than the person trying to make a profit from your attention makes it seem.

  • I had to hold back vomit every time this moron mentioned “Western”. South America is in the western hemisphere, ya doofus. More importantly, it points to the ridiculous glorification of primitivism that people like this peddle in. It’s no less disgusting than Mother Theresa’s glorification of poverty and suffering.

    Before going along with any of this guy’s ridiculous philosophies, please consult a doctor (a real doctor, you know, who practices evil “Western medicine,” aka “medicine”). Before you say it doesn’t matter, check out whatstheharm.net which chronicles the real harm caused by many of the alternative spiritual nonsense and pseudoscience that so many of the guests peddle. It is dangerous garbage with no basis in reality.

  • 1. Pete, I would defend the scientists who devote their lives to pursuing the boundaries of what we know, are extremely curious, and don’t bend the truth. I think there’s something between turning your brain off (“choosing the chicken”) and believing the ORMUS nonsense. This is probably my #1 reason for not being attracted to being vegan or raw–not that I don’t want to overhaul my life, but that I feel condescended to by those people.

    2. I really respect this podcast for giving me new perspectives that I would never have encountered on my own. I’m impressed with Pete for his ability to have amazing conversation and humor with such versatile guests.

    3. As someone who is ultra doubtful of remedies and theories that aren’t proven by scientific method, I am fine with others having different beliefs, diets, and trying new [age] things out. What causes concern to me (and I believe many others) is when something is sold as a cure for cancer, an aid to levitation, or any other miracle result. I feel like it’s my responsibility to speak up against what’s harmful and untrue.

    4. Thank you for the free podcast, Pete!